This Saturday closes the book on the 2007 regular season for the Nittany Lions. This Turkey would be content to bury this season amongst the vast unwashed of Penn State football memories, for there were few high points, much average, uninspired play, and a bunch of embarrassing off-field incidents that combined to render this a rather undistinguished year. It would be nice to go out with a win, but can they pull it off?
I’m sure you’ve heard about Chris Baker and Navarro Bowman having been charged with assault in that early season HUB brawl. Baker, you might remember, also is contesting felony burglary charges pending against him from the April 1 melee at a State College apartment. Knowledge Timmons was issued a citation for a lesser offense. PennLive.com reported that the three will not make the trip to East Lansing this weekend. This is an apt capstone on a year laced with far too many such incidents, from the brawl at the Meridian to the brawl at the HUB to Austin Scott’s rape charge to underage drinking arrests. Sadly, this is what the 2007 Lions will be remembered for.
The amazingly ugly trophy above, the vaunted Land-Grant Trophy, is what is up for grabs this weekend. I think the winner should take it over to Sanford & Son to see what they’ll offer for it. It won’t be much. Note that there are 76 little brass thingies on which to record annual results. By my calculation, by the time this trophy runs out of room, Joe Paterno will be coaching in his 104th season at Penn State, at the age of 144.
As for Michigan State (hereinafter referred to as Moo U.), this will be a tough road challenge for the Nittany Lions. Penn State is currently favored by 2.5 points, but that’s just sentimental money talking. We’ll have to see which version of each team shows up on the field on Saturday, but this Turkey thinks that it is going to be a difficult one for the Lions to win.
I think the potential is there for yet another one of those slow offensive starts that have become typical for Morelli and Company. It is a road game of some consequence, which our guys don’t handle well. Compound the shaky play with Paterno sphincter mode, and you have a formula for Moo U. jumping out to a 14-point lead in the first quarter. I hope not, but you can’t discount the possibility.
We’re playing for the difference between the Alamo Bowl and the Champ’s Sports Bowl. Isn’t that exciting? That should get these underachievers fired up for this game, shouldn’t it? Hell no, it won’t. I think you’ll see the same lackadaisical, no-fire offense, and a worn-down defense (thanks to injuries and indictments). As Paterno said, the guys are tired, having played 11 straight weeks. So, don’t expect to see a major motivational surge here in the Moo U. game. The fact that they’re playing for the monstrosity above won’t be enough. Furthermore, given that Michigan State’s tri-faceted running attack is not too shabby and our defense is riddled with injuries and arrests, it is going to be an uphill battle in East Lansing.
Speaking of motivation, I’m lacking the motivation to write much more, having been under the weather with a damn cold all week, so I’ll skip directly to the Official Nittany Turkey Poop Prediction: Michigan State 31, Penn State 27. See you here in Orlando!